An accident at the Xitou Nature Education Area in Nantou County injured three tourists. The Divine Tree has been a popular scenic spot of the Xitou forest. On Sep. 11 the giant, 2,800 year-old tree fell to the ground, most likely due to the damaged roots following several days of rain.
The Divine Tree is a renown landmark at the Xitou Nature Education Area. At around 1pm on Sep. 11, the giant tree toppled, surprising visitors who were relaxing nearby. Three visitors were injured as a result.
Does this hurt? Do you feel numbness? Can you raise your hands?
Injured people were immediately rushed to the hospital. Two of them sustained minor injuries, while one woman may have suffered from internal bleeding. An eyewitness said it was fortunate that the tree fell slowly, otherwise more people could have been hurt.
I heard cracking sounds. When I turned around I saw the Divine Tree fell. The tree toppled slowly, kicking up a lot of dust. Everyone was yelling.
Wood debris was scattered all over after the tree fell. The resting area was severely damaged, and two flying squirrels were killed by the fallen tree. Officials speculated that the weakened soil and rotten roots caused the tree to collapse.
==CHUNG LI-CHAN, Xitou Nature Education Area Chief==
Several days of rain probably weakened the soil around the roots. Also, it's not really a living tree because a lot of its roots was already rotten.
The NTU Experimental Forest Office said they will call a meeting on Sep. 12 with experts and scholars to investigate why the tree collapsed. Currently, visitors are not allowed to enter the Divine Tree area. Many people said it's a pity that they won't be able to see the 2,800-year-old anymore.
TRANSLATED BY：CHRISTINA LIU
記者 邱植培 彭煥群 南投報導